DeMar DeRozan sees all-too-familiar blueprint as Bulls lose in Toronto

With Zach LaVine out of the lineup, the Raptors made sure that someone other than DeRozan would have to beat them Sunday. It didn’t happen.

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Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan dribbles downcourt as Toronto Raptors forward O.G. Anunoby pursues.

Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan dribbles downcourt as Toronto Raptors forward O.G. Anunoby pursues.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

TORONTO — The Raptors’ defensive game plan Sunday was simple, and it was one Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan has become familiar with in the last year.

When guard Zach LaVine is in street clothes, expect the opposition to throw blitzes and double-teams DeRozan’s way.

That left DeRozan in the position of getting what he could, but it also forced him to rely on his teammates to deliver in clutch moments.

Unfortunately for the Bulls, they couldn’t.

On a night in which the Bulls had turnover issues and trouble dealing with the Raptors’ size on the boards, they had plenty of good looks, thanks to the attention DeRozan got. But they didn’t get enough results in a 113-104 loss at Scotiabank Arena.

‘‘It was like Milwaukee after he had that big Game 2 [in the playoffs],’’ coach Billy Donovan said, referring to the way the Bucks attacked DeRozan defensively last spring. ‘‘He was so unbelievable last year carrying us in different ways, and what ends up happening is you start going deeper and deeper into the season, and teams start forcing other guys to have to make some plays.

‘‘When guys aren’t in that situation and asked to do it later in the season, it’s a lot tougher. We’ve still got to be able to generate good shots, and we can’t be a team that says, ‘OK, if DeMar is not getting 35, it’s going to be hard for us to win.’ ’’

It was against the Raptors, especially late.

The Bulls (5-6) couldn’t have asked for a better start, with DeRozan taking apart the Raptors’ game plan. He repeatedly found an open Nikola Vucevic, who was 4-for-6 shooting in the first quarter, and the Bulls led 30-21 when it was over.

Then the turnovers started happening. The Bulls committed six of them in the second quarter, and the Raptors outscored them 34-19 to take a 55-49 lead into halftime.

The Bulls entered the fourth quarter trailing by only a point, despite having committed 13 turnovers and having had eight of their shots blocked. The game was there for the taking.

Unfortunately for them, it was the Raptors who took it.

Not only did the Raptors force four more turnovers, but they dominated the Bulls 19-10 on the glass in the fourth quarter, including 11 offensive rebounds that led to 11 second-chance points.

And the double-teaming of DeRozan didn’t stop.

‘‘It was expected,’’ DeRozan said of the Raptors’ defense. ‘‘The first half, we played well out of it. Second half, we kind of made a lot of mistakes out of it. We didn’t take advantage like we could. It’s a great learning lesson for us, understanding how we can attack it. We’ve just got to be aggressive with it, attack it, force them to switch it up a little bit. But I’m pretty sure we’re going to look at a lot of film.’’

They better, with the teams playing again Monday at the United Center and with LaVine (left knee) expected back.

What will DeRozan be expecting? A lot of the same, especially with the ‘‘unorthodox’’ way Raptors coach Nick Nurse attacks opposing teams.

‘‘There were times [Nurse] was putting a bigger body in after another,’’ DeRozan said. ‘‘That’s just him. So unorthodox how he does everything, and it kind of makes you think a little bit.

‘‘It’s not frustrating; it’s more so taking what the defense gives us. It’s on us. For the most part, we’re getting an advantage when [they double-team]. We just have to execute.’’

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